After she was born everyone wanted to know if I made through it without an epidural.
Once she was a few months old everyone wanted to know if she was sleeping through the night.
Now that she's over a year old, the question is "How much longer are you going to breastfeed?"
Do you want the short answer or the long answer? I usually start with the short answer: I don't know. After an awkward pause I start rambling the long answer. It usually includes something about pumping and my work schedule, something else about sleeping through the night and teething. Sometimes I even go into the WHO recommendations and anthropological evidence that says "extended" breastfeeding is biologically normal.
I'm not sure if it's there or if it is my own insecurities, but every time someone asks, I feel like the implied question is "Why haven't you weaned?" I feel defensive and judged. I have to convince them that I have actual reasons to continue breastfeeding and I'm not just lazy or "soft".
Part of it is that I'm not a pull-the-band-aide-off-quickly kind of mom. I don't like drastic changes, I'd rather do things slowly. That being said, the only change that I've made since she turned the magic age of one is that I don't stress about is anymore, or rather, I try not to. Most of my stress surround pumping and supply. I have a hard time keeping up with her when I work long hours, so we're introducing cow and goat's milk since we're quickly running out of frozen milk. I have to put in a lot of effort to not worry so much, and its really helping. I'm able to focus on work more and I don't threaten to throw my pump off the building anymore.
We've had an interesting journey to get here. It's been full of ups and downs, tears and smiles. Lately the smiles have vastly out numbered the tears and we are both happy with how our nursing relationship is. And its just that: OURS.
So whether or not you are judging me for nursing my one year old at the park/restaurant/work, it really doesn't matter. The answer to the question is "When it seems right for us" and I don't know when that will be because it hasn't happened yet.
|Having a milk break during her 1-year-old photo shoot|